Tuesday, January 7, 2014

South Sudan Peace talks open as Battles rage in Capital

Good People,
Re: South Sudan Peace talks open as Battles rage in Capital
Situation in South Sudan is sad, unfortunate and ugly to even
think there is opening for truce. This Civil War in South Sudan
was authored and Engineered by IGAD for the benefit of their
business network and never took those of the South Sudan people
into consideration, which is why, the International Community for
Human Rights must step in as a go between.
Evidence of which Uganda Private Army of more than 150 Army
personnel from Kampala are holed up inside South Sudan.
It is about time the world put IGAD and Museveni to explain what
Uganda Army is doing in South Sudan and equally explain how
they reached the consensus that the people of South Sudan should
be invated????
From reliable sources, it is rumoured that political prisoners held
by Kiir had been killed by IGAD.......which is why IGAD are beating
about the bush about the South Sudanese prisonners be re-located
to IGAD, how was that done????? Can Kiir confirm that????
Can they produce them first for the world to believe??? What a bad
conspiracy the IGAD had cooked....This is troubling and worisome.
This matter cannot continued to be handled by IGAD......Let the music
Judy Miriga
Diaspora Spokesperson
Executive Director
Confederation Council Foundation for Africa Inc.,
South Sudan Won’t Bow to Pressure to Release Political Prisoners
By William DavisonJan 5, 2014 5:15 AM CT
Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) -– South Sudan’s government won’t bow to international pressure and immediately release politicians detained after an alleged attempted coup last month, Information Minister Michael Makuei said.
“We thought the international community would come in support of us,” Makuei told reporters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, where talks are taking place to end a three-week-old conflict in the neighboring African country. “There is no way we can be asked to release people who are arrested and charged.” Freeing the detainees would set a “bad precedent.”
The U.S. and the European Union said yesterday that 11 politicians imprisoned in South Sudan should be freed to help warring parties reach a ceasefire and a political solution. The releases should not be a “pre-condition” for negotiations being mediated by East African nations, Makuei said. Conflict broke out on Dec. 15 after President Salva Kiir accused former Vice President Riek Machar of trying to stage a coup. Violence spread swiftly, pitting members of Salva’s ethnic Dinka community against Machar’s Nuer group. “Thousands” of people have died and about 200,000 have been displaced, according to United Nations estimates.
The fighting must stop for the government to move on to negotiations on a monitored ceasefire, Makuei said. “Without a cessation of hostilities, ultimately it becomes difficult for us to continue talking,” he said. According to rebel spokesman Hussein Mar Nyuot, the two parties agreed to direct talks yesterday. Discussions may start today, he said in an interview.

Truce Efforts

Machar and his allies want the release of all charged with coup-plotting by Kiir’s government and for those individuals to be given freedom of movement, Taban Deng Gai, head of the negotiating team for the rebels, said yesterday.
The politicians are “languishing in jail not for any crimes they’ve committed, but for the reason of voicing their political opinion,” Gai said.
Those detained include Pagan Amum, former secretary-general of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement.
Efforts to mediate a truce are being led by theIntergovernmental Authority on Development, a group of eight East African nations including Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. IGAD wants South Sudan to go the “extra mile” in its treatment of the detainees so they can take part in talks, Getachew Reda, a spokesman for Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, said today.

‘No Problem’

“One of the things that was suggested was for the South Sudanese government to expedite the process, bail them out and transfer them to IGAD,” he said by phone. “IGAD will then have the responsibility to transfer them to a court of law so they can face due process.”
South Sudan has “no problem” with IGAD’s approach in general on the issue of the detainees, Makuei said.
“The IGAD partners are the ones who are trying to set things right,” Makuei said. It is “out of the question” to investigate the “massive crimes” within days and then release the prisoners, he said, adding that he wasn’t aware of IGAD’s suggestion to take the detainees into its custody.
Rebel claims of Ugandan involvement in fighting are false, Makuei said. The neighboring country’s forces should withdraw from the country, Gai said yesterday. Rebels claim the Ugandan forces are supporting Kiir’s troops.
The steps toward a ceasefire come as fighting continues in South Sudan. The military situation is “normal” today, with rebels likely to launch attacks, Makuei said, without providing further details.

Rebels Advance

The UN has urged both sides to avoid civilian casualties, and called on donors to help aid agencies raise $166 million for humanitarian programs.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in Jerusalemtoday that the start of direct talks was a “very important step” and urged officials to approach them with “resolve.”
South Sudan seceded from neighboring Sudan in July 2011, taking three-quarters of the formerly united country’s crude output with it. Oil exports provide more than 95 percent of government revenue. Machar was one of the leaders of a faction that split from other southern rebels during decades of civil war with the government in Khartoum.
Landlocked South Sudan has sub-Saharan Africa’s largest oil reserves after Nigeria and Angola, according to BP Plc data. It has been exporting all of its crude –- about 245,000 barrels a day -- through pipelines across Sudan. The fighting has cut production to about 200,000 barrels daily.
To contact the reporter on this story: William Davison in Addis Ababa at wdavison3@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.net
South Sudan peace talks open as battles rage in capital
By Waakhe Simon Wudu in Juba and Jacey Fortin in Addis Ababa
Saturday, 4th 2014 .............hours ago
A South Sudanese child stands next to a tent crowded with IDP's at an encampment within the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, UNMISS compound on January 4, 2014 in the capital Juba
Juba (AFP) - Artillery fire pounded Juba's government district Saturday even as warring factions met for the first time on the eve of direct talks in Ethiopia to pull South Sudan back from the brink of all-out civil war.
Full face-to-face peace talks were to begin in earnest on Sunday in the Ethiopian capital in a bid to end three weeks of fighting that are feared to have killed thousands in the world's newest nation.
"South Sudan deserves peace and development not war," Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom said at ceremony to formally open talks, which brought the government and rebel teams together for the first time.
"You should not allow this senseless war to continue, you need to stop it, and you need to stop it today -- and you can."
As delegates smiled in the luxury hotel in Ethiopia, heavy explosions from artillery fire and the rattle of automatic weapons were heard in a Juba district where most ministries, the presidential palace and the parliament are located, an AFP reporter said.
It was not clear who was involved in the fighting, that ended a period of relative calm in the capital.
The conflict erupted on December 15, pitting army units loyal to President Salva Kiir against a loose alliance of ethnic militia forces and mutinous army commanders nominally headed by his rival, former vice president Riek Machar.
Negotiation teams have spent three days in the same luxury hotel in neighbouring Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.
Ethiopian foreign ministry spokesman Dina Mufti said full formal direct talks would begin at 1200 GMT on Sunday.
Peace by 'all means' necessary
"The people of South Sudan have suffered in the fight for independence, and they will not suffer again in our hands," said Nhial Deng Nhial, head of the government negotiation team.
"We shall leave no stone unturned in the search for a peaceful resolution."
But Nhial also warned it "must be abundantly clear" the government has "an obligation to restore peace and security of the country through all means available."
Fighting has spread across the world's youngest nation, with the rebels seizing several areas in the oil-rich north.
Rebel delegation chief Taban Deng, a former governor of the key oil-state Unity, said they were committed to the talks mediated by the regional East African IGAD bloc of nations.
"We will be continuing move to the next level," Deng said, including negotiating ceasefire and "political issues."
Deng demanded the release of several top political leaders from the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), accused of involvement in the violence, that began in an alleged coup attempt.
"The absence of democracy in the SPLM and a lack of dialogue within the SPLM has led to the current problems we are facing today," Deng said.
"We are asking for the release of the detainees. They are detained not for any crime they have committed, but for voicing their opinions in the SPLM."
Aid workers have stepped up warnings of a worsening crisis for civilians affected by the conflict in the landlocked country of almost 11 million people.
The army continued Saturday to battle rebels in a bid to wrest back the strategic town of Bor, capital of Jonglei, one of the country's largest states.
"Our forces are still moving towards Bor," army spokesman Philip Aguer told AFP, dismissing rebel claims they had been marching on Juba.
Civilians in critical condition
There were reports of intense battles involving tanks and artillery on the outskirts of Bor, which has already exchanged hands three times since fighting began.
The US embassy in South Sudan ordered a further pullout of staff on Friday because of the "deteriorating security situation", although Washington -- a key backer of the fledgling state -- insisted it remains committed to ending the violence.
The ongoing fighting prompted the top UN aid official in South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, to warn that soldiers and rebels must protect civilians and aid workers.
He announced Saturday that the UN peacekeeping force (UNMISS) would be "reinforcing its presence" in the country.
IGAD, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, whose members include the talk's host Ethiopia as well as Kenya and Uganda -- all strong backers of Kiir's government -- played key roles in pushing forward the 2005 deal that ended Sudan's two-decade-long civil war.
"If you put your people and country above any personal ambitions, surely you can stop the war," Tedros added.
Fighting started in oil-rich but impoverished South Sudan when Kiir accused Machar of attempting a coup.
Machar denied this, in turn accusing the president of conducting a violent purge of opponents.
The violence has forced around 200,000 people to flee their homes and "affected many hundreds of thousands of people indirectly", the UN's Lanzer said. Tens of thousand are seeking refuge with badly overstretched UN peacekeepers.
The UN peacekeeping force said this week that atrocities are continuing to occur throughout South Sudan, which won independence from Sudan in 2011 after decades of civil war.
The conflict has been marked by an upsurge of ethnic violence pitting members of the Dinka tribe that Kiir comes from against the Nuer people of Machar.
Bigdaddy15 hours ago
Politicians are businessmen that are after the wealth of that nation that have no interest in the development and progress of their citizens. They united to divide Sudan and their greed keeps them fighting each other. Are they better than Bashir of Sudan now? A new and young nation like this should have been build on secularism, transparency and rules of law. Allowing sectarianism to rear its head is a disaster that would set this nation more backward. What South Sudan needs is strong and transparent leadership that is ready to put South Sudan economy development in its first agenda. Power tussle that would give room to extremists should be averted.

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